Polling stations on the East Coast officially opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday for an election that could effectively hamper President Joe Biden’s agenda for the next two years by a Republican-controlled Congress.
More than 40 million Americans voted early, pointing to Election Day turnout that could approach record levels.
It has surpassed early turnout for 2018, the year of the Democrats’ “blue wave,” and is the highest number for midterm elections since at least 1982.
Photos early Tuesday morning show lines already wrapped around the block in places like Pennsylvania, where the heated Senate race between Democrat Lt. Governor John Fetterman and Republican celebrity physician Dr. Mehmet Oz could decide the fate of the Senate. More than 1.1 million Pennsylvania residents cast their votes early in the close race.
A brief wave of momentum that Democrats experienced over the summer, following the reversal of federal abortion protections by the Supreme Court, appears to have dissipated as voters grow increasingly concerned about the state of the economy and rising crime rates.
The vast majority of polls leading up to Election Day have shown that Republicans are experiencing a last-minute surge of enthusiasm driven by these issues.
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A Monday poll by Politico/Morning Consult shows that the economy and inflation top the list of nearly 8 in 10 voters.
It also shows that 70 percent of voters believe the United States is on the wrong track — a bad sign for Democrats in an election widely seen as a referendum on their stewardship of the country.
“I think we’re expected to get at least 40 seats” in the House, a GOP official told DailyMail.com Tuesday morning.
“Anything under 40 seats is a bad night.”
As of now, Republicans are expected to have 227 seats in the House after Election Day, compared to Democrats’ projected 174 seats.
It means that even if the Democrats win all 34 toss-ups, they still won’t have enough of the 218 members needed for a majority.
In the Senate, which is currently split 50-50, Republicans are expected to flip three blue seats in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada for a majority in the upper chamber, which could stall Biden’s judicial and cabinet confirmations.
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PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: David Walchesky (L), election judge, and Evelyn Cain, majority inspector, prepare the vote scanner at a polling station in a private resident garage for the US midterm elections
MIAMI, FLORIDA: A GOP employee told DailyMail.com he’d be surprised if Republicans didn’t get 40 seats in the House
This year’s slim majority could pave the way for even greater Republican control in 2024, the GOP employee told DailyMail.com.
They noted that Republicans are defending more seats than Democrats this year, which will change in the next election cycle.
“If Republicans, you know, do really well in the Senate, have 53 seats or whatever, then there’s a possibility that we can get 60 senators by 2024 and win the presidency,” the GOP official said.
In Pennsylvania, photos show Donald Trump-backed Republican Oz and his wife voted early Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, heavy hitters from both parties made their closing message to voters on Monday night.
Republican nominee for US Senate Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa cast their votes at Bryn Athyn Borough Hall, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania